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Four Students are Finalists in Planet Forward Storyfest Competition


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Four ESF students were finalists in three categories of the Planet Forward Storyfest Competition. They were chosen from more than 200 entries submitted from dozens of colleges and universities.

Planet Forward, a project of the Center for Innovative Media at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, teaches, celebrates, and rewards environmental storytelling by college students. It is the premier engagement tool for George Washington's many sustainability initiatives. Emmy Award-winning journalist Frank Sesno formed Planet Forward in 2009 to empower new voices and lead a global conversation on the planet's future. ESF has been engaged with Planet Forward for five years and leverages its Digital Storytelling Lab to empower more faculty and students to produce digital media.

In the Multimedia/Podcasts category, Arik Palileo was a finalist with his entry titled, Saving the Bees. Palileo's presentation explores the phrase "save the bees," discussing which bees should be saved and why. Should we only save native bees, imported bees, or all bees? Viewers will consider how a bee imported from Europe became a symbol for American agriculture and its connections to capitalism.

Two students photo essays made it to the finals: Angelica Gonzalez, with Ghanian guide to sustainable living and Meg Rossie with The effects of human disturbances on national parks. Gonzalez's photos document people in Ghana who practice sustainability, she says, because it is common sense and allows them to save more and be more at peace. Rossie's photos show the effects of climate change on national parks that are biodiversity hubs and in desperate need, according to Rossie, for human intervention.

In the video category, Lindsay Eberhart was one of eight finalists recognized with her production filmed at an exposed landfill in Brooklyn. Her video, Tourist attraction, or environmental disaster?, showcases Glass Bottle Beach with a critical eye.

Storyfest is sponsored by Lindblad Expeditions, Discovery, Comcast, Walton Family Foundation, National Geographic, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Arizona State University Global Futures Laboratory, 3 Degrees, Middlebury College, and is headquartered and housed at George Washington University.